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Discussion Starter #1
I am kind of new to this. I picked up a 84 300d a few months back and have started to tinker with it a bit. She is pretty bouncy and needs some new shocks. I see on the Napa site they offer a mono tube shock wich I am assuming is the original and a gas shock. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is the better choice? Is there any noticeable difference between the two?

Thanks
 

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2003 Volvo V70 5 Speed
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1,784 Posts
Most people on here say Bilstein are the best. However when I did my rear shocks a year and a half ago I Just used some McParts generic ones and am more than happy with the ride.
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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4,021 Posts
Most guys recommend Bilstein. The HD model or Heavy Duty gives you a firmer ride, while the Comfort as the name suggests gives a softer ride, not Cadillac soft, but still.
 

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W-1-2-3 Go!
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Unless your car has the HD (heavy duty) suspension setup from factory, your car will only require Bilstein comforts or Sachs Touring shocks.

Bilstein HD's are heavier duty as mentioned if you want a firmer ride. Chances are, comforts will be perfect if you want to regain the original feel.

Others have used KYB's, we had them once on 300TD. They were stiffer, and from experience owners have used the acronym KYB's to mean Keep Your Bilsteins.
 

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1978 W123 300D, 1986 S124 250TD, 1987 W124 300D-T, 1965 W108 250SE, 114 280C, W126 300SDL,W123 300CD
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83 Posts
Sir do you have the part #s of the comfort and heavy duty bilstein shocks? I recently replaced the rear and just want to make sure if i got the comfort coz it feels a little stiff when i pass by bumps.

Thanks
 

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85 300D, 84 300D, 05 Mustang GT Vert, 11 VW JSW TDI, 95 Del Sol, 88 IROC, 95 Villager, 04 Wrangler
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602 Posts
Bilstein Comforts FTW.
 

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money pits of various forms
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5,885 Posts
Bilstein HD for the win.
 

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'82 300CD
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14 Posts
I just replaced my rear shocks with Bilstein comforts, and mu 300CD rides beautifully. They're not that much more expensive than the others. I believe Bilsteins were originally stocked on these cars, so consider sticking with them.

Also, I changed the shocks myself. It's pretty easy if you have access to a shop manual. You need to remove the rear seat backrest, which is probably the biggest hassle. The rest isn't tough at all if you have some decent tools and jack stand.
 

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'73 450SL, '83 300CD, '01 E320 4matic
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I bought the fairly cheap Monro 'sensatrac' shocks for my 123 and it feels just fine. The rears have been in three different cars now- my 78 'CD, my 81 'D, and now the 83 'CD. They probably have 60 or 70K miles on them, and still feel like new. I think that's what I put on the rear of my 300SE too, but that might have been Bilstiens, I don't remember. I put Bilstiens on the 450SL for sure.

All shocks are not created equal- but the Monro shocks work well with this chassis, and they last a very long time- for probably less than half the price.

I think the sensatrac shocks are the ones with the dual-valving- part of the travel is fairly soft, but if you make an evasive maneuver they muscle up- It seems to actually work.
 

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1981 240D
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185 Posts
Like a few people have mentioned Bilsteins are the way to go. They are the original parts supplier for Mercedes. I am sure the others make shocks that are just fine. I recently replaced all 4 shocks on my 1981 240D. The original bilstein comforts were replaced on my car in 1998 with Sachs shocks. So the original Bilsteins lasted 17 years, the replacement Sachs shocks lasted probably ten (I bought my 240D in 2007 and the shocks were already bouncy, so I am not sure what their lifespan really is). Like another member mentioned, it is not a hard job. The rear doesn't really even require taking the wheels off. It took me about 3 hours total. The hardest part for me was braking the locknuts on the top of the rear shocks loose.
 

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'73 450SL, '83 300CD, '01 E320 4matic
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The hardest part for me was braking the locknuts on the top of the rear shocks loose.

The almighty impact wrench converts the most time consuming part of changing the rear shocks to removing the back seat. Don't use an impact to install the new ones though- you'll ruin them, and a lot of new shocks end up failing prematurely because people spin the shafts with the impact.
 

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My shocks are also up for replacement next season and I feel the nose drooping down a bit, my question is, would replacing the front shocks with Bilstein HD's raise the front significantly?

Oh, and another, what is the standard length of the 123's shocks?

Thanks to all.
 

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1977 230, 1990 300E 2.6
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243 Posts
Bilstein is the way to go. Many recommend using the "HD" version because the ride of the W123 is pretty soft. I also have a W124 and the factory ride setup is firmer so the "Comfort" version is best unless you are doing handling mods. Bilstein shocks are guaranteed for life to the original purchaser and can be had, if you shop around, for as little as $50/shock.

BTW, Bilstein was not the only O.E. manufacturer Mercedes used for shocks - at least three different companies, IIRC.
 

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1981 240D
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185 Posts
My shocks are also up for replacement next season and I feel the nose drooping down a bit, my question is, would replacing the front shocks with Bilstein HD's raise the front significantly?

Oh, and another, what is the standard length of the 123's shocks?

Thanks to all.
The HD's won't "raise" the front. The HD shocks and comfort shocks are the same length, the HD's just have less give. You will get a much stiffer ride with the HD's. One suggestion I have read many times on this forum is to put HD's in the front and comforts in the rear. You will get the added benefit of the HD suspension where it is needed most (under the engine) and still have the benefits of a comfortable ride. I haven't tried this, but it seems logical. Many people on this forum have done it with favorable results. As far as the standard lenght, I am not sure. If you are looking for a replacement shock, I would check your parts dealer since length is not the only factor you have to take into consideration when purchasing shock absorbers.
 
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